Tuesday, March 22, 2011

42m, The First in a Series of Three Posts Regarding the LDS Church's Indian Student Placement Program. Post 1: The "Helen John Story"!

To Access This Blog's Index, Please Scroll Down To the Fifth Paragraph From the End of This Post!


The Nephite Prophet Mormon, Who Previously Had Compiled the Book of Mormon. He is Seen in this Painting Not Long Before dieing in Battle! by Arnold Friberg

Book of Mormon, 2Nephi 30: 3 And now, I (Nephi, son of Lehi and an ancestor of Mormon) would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles (Most of us are gentiles.) For after the book (The Book of Mormon) of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed (The Lamanites/American Indians of our day).
4 And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we (Lehi and his family and all of their descendants) came out from Jerusalem, and that they (The Lamanites/American Indians) are descendants of the Jews.
5 And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them;  (The Lamanites/American Indians of our day), wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers (The Nephites and Lamanites of the Central American area from about 600 B.C. to 300 A.D.)
6 And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and a delightsome people. (clarification and emphasis added)
After having been employed by the LDS Church's Seminary and Institute program as a Gospel teacher of Indian Seminary students from among the Navajo, Crow and Northern Cheyenne American Indian Tribes (in Brigham City, Utah; Farmington, New Mexico; Hardin and at Crow Agency in Montana and in the nearby Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, located in Lame Deer, Montana (U.S.A.) from the Fall of 1962 to the Summer of 1967, I accepted a transfer in my employment from the Seminary programs of the Church to the Indian Student Placement Program of that same Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My first assignment in that program was in the San Fernando Valley in the Los Angeles, California area.

In the second post, (42n) in this series, I will also provide a true humorous account of an Indian Placement matter in which I happened to be involved!

After getting my growing family (my wife and I and our four still young children-our oldest was to start the first grade of school there) settled in our rented home in Canoga Park, California, my wife and I left our children in the care of another LDS family who lived near us, while we traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the annual Indian Student Placement Program Caseworker's training seminar, the first one I was to attend.

That training was very important for me as I was entering an entirely new work assignment, although I had heard much about that work because it was also with the American Indian/Lamanite people I had been working with although in a different role.

There was an about two hour portion of that three day training seminar that I payed very particular attention to. During that session, the very first Indian Placement Program student, Helen Rose John and her Indian Placement foster parents, Golden and Thelma Buchanan told their very moving (and touching) story. 

I payed close attention to what they each said and saw how they lovingly interacted one with another as they told about the roles they each had in the beginnings of the Indian Student Placement Program. I vowed right then to some day write their story they were telling us. I was not a trained writer. I was just so touched and impressed that I just knew I had to write what I learned that day about their experience they had just shared with us!

Over the years of my employment with the LDS Church's Family Services Program (which included ISPP along with counseling, assisting adoptive parents and working with birth mothers who were contemplating placing their out-of-wedlock babies, for adoption) and as the first agency director of LDS Family Services in Kansas City, Missouri (U.S.A.), I kept recalling my vow of that first day of that training session to write about the Beginnings of the LDS Indian Student Placement Program.

I finally wrote it in about 1981 while living in Sandy, Utah and working with the Indian Student Placement portion of LDS Family Services in nearby Salt Lake City, Utah. It was presented on several occasions, at least one of which was an annual ISPP reunion held in the Wilkinson Center on the BYU campus, in Provo, UT. The story was published several years later in an LDS oriented magazine, Dialogue. The theme of that particular issue was "The Work of the LDS Church with American Indians."

Several years ago I made that story into my blog post 37n. I have even read articles recently about the Indian Student Placement Program in which the authors refer to my particular Dialogue Magazine article. Edward Kimball (who served as a professor of Law at BYU-Provo) a son of President Spencer W. Kimball.

Recently I have been perfecting that post because I thought you might enjoy reading it. It is longer than many of my other posts but it is much faster moving than some and I humbly feel that it is the best thing I have ever been privileged to write!

I invite you to click on the following link to begin viewing my post 37n. I have to admit that I shed tears in certain places in it just about every time I read it. This is a true historical account! Please read it all the way through in one sitting. It flows rapidly and smoothly!

The Helen John Story

In my next post, Post 42n you will be given the opportunity of reading some accounts written by former LDS Indian Student Placement students, featuring their personal and most often their wife or husband's experiences as students in that program. In the final post of this three post series, 42o, you will learn the findings of some professionals who jointly evaluated and published a study of results of the Indian Placement Program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This website is not owned by or affiliated with the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church.


TO ACCESS NEIL BIRCH'S BLOG INDEX: To Either Read the Full Index Item Which Refers To This Blog Post, (Or To Search The Index For Any Other Blog Post You Desire T0o Access), After You Have Read All of This Paragraph, Please Scroll Back Up And Click on the Following: The Helen John Story, the First Indian Student of the LDS Indian Student Placement Program. -Post 42m. When The Picture of Our Savior, Jesus Christ Sitting Next To a Little Boy Comes Onto Your Screen, Please Scroll Down In The Index To Your Target Item Or Use the Alphabetical Scrolling Device (When It Has Been Installed).


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